Tragic Sandwich

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Archive for the tag “injury”

Baby’s First X-Ray

Radiation Sign

So last night Baguette went into our bedroom, and a little later we heard a slappy thump followed by tears. She was sitting on the floor at the foot of our bed, and sobbing. I picked her up and cradled her and sang to her, and she kept sobbing for at least 15 more minutes. We examined her carefully and couldn’t find any bumps, bruising, or swelling, but she was clearly unhappy and uncomfortable. I was able to coax her to sleep, but she was restless and needed soothing all night.

Until 3:40 a.m., when she was wide awake. After some failed efforts at getting her to fall back asleep, we all got up to watch Sesame Street. She snuggled on the couch with Mr. Sandwich and smiled a bit, but was nowhere near her usual levels of enthusiasm.

She’s home for a few days anyhow, because her day care is closed for some teacher in-service time, and the plan was for Mr. Sandwich to stay home with her (he has more vacation time). So I went to work and called to see how they were doing.

At that point, Mr. Sandwich described it as “a sick, lazy day” with lots of Sesame Street. But later he took her out to play with her water table, and realized that Baguette hadn’t just been relaxing on the couch–she couldn’t stand up on her own.

So he called me and the pediatrician’s office, where we met a couple of hours later. Now, Baguette does not love going to the doctor’s office. She’s had relatively few visits, so she associates the doctor with shots and that weird stomach-poking thing. She wails incessantly at the top of her lungs, both at the nurse and at the doctor. It’s really, really hard to calm her down afterward; there is no calming her down during. But the doctor managed to examine her, and decided that he ought to send her to radiology.

And it turns out she feels exactly the same way about x-ray machines. While she was very–uncharacteristically–sedate in the waiting room, she screamed and screamed the entire time she was on the table to be x-rayed.

The results were normal, so no fracture–good news. And while the screaming was heartbreaking, it completely wore her out, and she fell asleep in my arms before we even got the update from the radiologist. She stayed asleep the entire way home and for several hours afterward.

So it’s likely to be a long night. Tomorrow, her pediatrician may provide another referral–this time to an orthopedist. And we suspect that we have a 2-year-old with a sprained ankle, particularly because now we can see some minor swelling. But she’s also smiling for the first time all day, and that’s an amazing relief.

Photo by microwavedboy, via Flickr.

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The Kindness of Strangers

Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com fame ran the New York Marathon this weekend (congratulations, Heather!) and broke her foot (feel better, Heather!). Her post about the reactions she’s encountered reminded me of the six months I spent wearing something like this:

Yes, I partially tore my ACL in a college fencing bout, and due to scheduling issues (my vacations, cross-referenced with the invasion of Panama, which if you do some very basic math will also tell you something about my age), I spent the better part of my senior year of college on crutches. Because I went to school out of state, I traveled a lot–even in the knee immobilizer. I became very familiar with bulkhead seats and the need to argue that, yes, it was unreasonable to expect me to go all the way to the back of the plane instead of violating the sanctity of the first/business class lavatory. (I remember saying to one flight attendant, “Seriously, I am willing to ask every person in first class if they really have a problem with this. Do you want me to do that? Because I’m happy to.” She acquiesced; if any of those passengers had did have a problem, they never hinted at it.)

In the course of those flights, and the wheelchair escorts to and from each gate, I seemed to meet every person traveling, each of whom wanted to talk about my knee. Which is why I later started reading true crime on airplanes, but that’s a story for a different post. Maybe.

Eventually I was able to jettison the knee immobilizer and just use the crutches. And I was struck by the looks I got from gate agents who seemed to think I was faking (because riding a wheelchair through the airport when you don’t need one is, apparently, cool enough to cause people to fake injuries). Heather’s post reminded me of that. It seems crutches aren’t enough.

So that was my senior year in college: a short fencing career, months on crutches, arthroscopy over Spring Break (woo hoo!), physical therapy, and arguing with airline staff. Which doesn’t even touch on this exchange as I waited for my surgery:

Surgeon: So how’s the knee feeling?
Me: You know, I really haven’t noticed it since I had the appendectomy.
Surgeon: [slightly alarmed] And when was this?
Me: Two weeks ago.
Surgeon: Uh huh. When did they say you could go back to normal activity?
Me: Well, I’m not supposed to lift anything for a few more weeks, but what do you mean by normal?
Surgeon: When did they say you could drive?
Me: Oh. You know, they didn’t say. But I’ve been driving for a week.

And then in the recovery room, I got hypothermia. Good times. Spring Break! Woo hoo!

Photo from Patterson Medical website.

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